One of my oldest friends is going to be working with Paul McCartney!
Why is September a slow writing month? Haven’t even gotten to look at many interesting links I have set aside to peruse later, then “later” never comes. Jaquandor’s having writing problems too, but it appears to have been rectified, according to his Facebook posts.
Arthur has had a woeful time on HIS blog, but maybe it’s the way it is after seven years of blogging. Or maybe he’s just excited about the fact that on Friday, November 1, he and Nigel are going to the registry office in Auckland, New Zealand to change their civil union to marriage. Mazel tov!
My friend Claire’s annual blog post.
The oddest Facebook conversation I had about the owner of Barilla pasta and his anti-gay comments, which has spurred calls for a boycott, forced me to write: “It is necessarily true that one does not know the bigotry of every CEO. I don’t know how that translates to ‘since I don’t know what they all think, I’ll ignore this one’s bigotry.'”
Dustbury manages to write about Microsoft Windows and the 1908 Chicago Cubs in the same post.
Back in the early 1950s, comic books were the Grand Theft Auto of the day, a “fall guy” along with rock ‘n’ roll for a nation looking for simplistic explanations for complex societal problems.
Polite Scott is back with his medical reviews of current comic books. And you don’t even have to have read the comics to appreciate the analyses.
I imagine we’ve all felt a bit like Dougie McCoy.
One of my oldest friends is going to be working with Paul McCartney! Here’s his NEW song.
Noshville Kotz, with apologies to John Sebastian.
GOOGLE ALERT (me)
Arthur and Jason spent episode 91 of the 2political podcast responding to comments I left on their previous episode. “Jason also talks about his experience after being attacked and robbed, including dealing with the criminal justice system.”
GOOGLE ALERTS (not me)
Ex-reporter lifts lid on his wrestling career. Roger Green’s book, titled Memoirs of a TV Wrestler, is available to download. “It is a no-holds-barred semi-autobiography, which lifts the lid on the wrestling business during the 60s and 70s.”
“Remember: it’s update, not upgrade. “
Every once in a while you read a blog post that you not only enjoy, it edifies your very being. I’m talking about Dustbury’s post Demotional rescue. Now you need to know that Chaz, who runs the joint, has been online close to 20 years, and he’s approximately 314.15 times savvier, technologically, than I will ever be. And I’m OK with that.
Still, Chaz installed OpenOffice 4.0.0, only to discover “feature bloat and unnecessarily complicated toolbars …
then it started to crash on a regular basis. I figure any spreadsheet software that fails on an effort to insert four lousy lines — no formulas or anything — into a 16k single-sheet document needs to die, and pronto. I banished the offending version and went back to 3.3.0, which I still had in a directory somewhere.”
Then: “DivX, a nice little package of codecs and converters and whatnot, has been pestering me for updates for some time now, and when I gave in, they threw up a whole new splash screen telling me how wonderful this new toolbar was. Now I look upon toolbars approximately the way I look upon cold-air intakes: they might have been useful twenty years ago, but they’re not getting near my engine. I duly unchecked the box, which also threatened me with a whole new search engine, and a new splash screen came up with the option greyed out — but still, technically, checked. Out you go, DivX, and never darken my drives again.”
When I load software, after reading the manual, thank you very much, I always assumed it was my inability to grasp the technology. (Some dopey tech people didn’t help in this regard. Don’t they know English?)
It seems, though, that at least SOME of the time, that update makes things worse, not better. What was instinctive is now incomprehensible. Hey, I’m still a technophobe, but at least I know I have a good cause! As Chaz wrote: “Remember: it’s update, not upgrade.”
The only other “correction of the Internet” I tend to do publicly – as opposed to private fixes of typos – involves finding some myth that has easily corrected via Snopes.
I saw this message about drug testing welfare recipients on Facebook. It irritated me, and I wrote: “This is an amazing waste of money. 1) Most jobs DON’T require it. 2) In places, such as Florida, it’s cost more to do the testing than the savings gained by denying benefits.
The only reason I’m even bothering to bring this up here- besides as a response to my low blogging output of late – is that the person who posted was a friend, not a Facebook “friend”, but a real-life friend. I had thought to dispute the post via Instant Messaging, but once the post started getting LIKEs, it seemed that I needed to answer via the same medium. (Rather like how I feel a front-page newspaper error should be corrected in the same location.)
The only other “correction of the Internet” I tend to do publicly – as opposed to private fixes of typos – involves finding some myth that has easily corrected via Snopes. So I was mildly disappointed to discover that sometimes Snopes is not the authoritative source either. “They concocted a section called ‘The Repository of Lost Legends’ (‘TROLL’), consisting of nine stories made up by the Snopes duo, five of which they flagged as ‘True.’ Here is the ‘pear flag’ story, and there is also one about how Mississippi removed fractions and decimals from the school curriculum, and three other stories which are just believable enough – but are fake.” They do warn against false authority, even themselves.
I happened to have gone to a panel at FantaCon this month with Steve Bissette, Kris Gilpin and Dennis Daniel, all of whom used to swap bootleg horror films, fifth-generation recording dubbed in German or Dutch. THEY are ecstatic that those films are now available in a nice Criterion collection.
The cover of the September 20/27, 2013 Entertainment Weekly, its Fall TV Preview, says “get the scoop on 119 shows, PLUS the best new series.” If I need a reminder that the medium has diffused, that’ll do it.
Yet on two successive episodes of the Bat Segundo Show podcast, host Ed Champion declares that there is an “American epidemic of gravitating to mainstream culture in an age of limitless choice.” He and guest Kiese Laymon discuss “why America is terrified of rich and variegated cultural engagement.” Then Champion and Alissa Quart dissect “how outsiders and iconoclasts have been appropriated by institutional forces. Why have we shifted to a culture hostile to original voices? Why is it all about being liked?”
I found myself arguing and agreeing with the dialogues in about equal measure. On one hand, there’s no doubt that a lot of the “outsiders” get co-opted. And there’s the “you’re an idiot if you’re not watching this” meme that Jaquandor discussed, in this case, about Breaking Bad. He’s seen two episodes more than I have and is disinclined not to see any more, which SHOULD be OK, but apparently is not, at least for some tastemakers. (Hey, I haven’t seen either Game of Thrones (and won’t) or Downton Abbey (Bought the Wife the DVDs, so I probably will – eventually).
On the other hand, when there are so many movies, so many TV shows, and I have a finite amount of time and money, why CAN’T I at least look at Rotten Tomatoes, and get a sense of the critical mass of movie reviewers? Maybe I WILL go see that movie with the 12% positive reviews, though probably not.
There was this whole argument on one of those podcasts about finding the obscure films, it seems, for the sake of seeking them out, proving one is “cutting edge” or “outre”; it all felt a bit affected to me. I happened to have gone to a panel at FantaCon this month with Steve Bissette, Kris Gilpin, and Dennis Daniel, all of whom used to swap bootleg horror films, fifth-generation recording dubbed in German or Dutch. THEY are ecstatic that those films are now available in a nice Criterion collection.
Speaking of Mr. Byzantium Shores, he called BS on the Louis CK rant about smartphones. He may be correct about the inauthentic specifics, yet I found it oddly affecting theater. I think a commenter describing smartphones enabling “a sort of rude, in-the-bubble behavior” feels right. Or maybe it’s just my reaction to the people on the bus I see every day, about 2/3s of which are totally detached from the person sitting three feet from them makes me more than a bit melancholy.
Going back to that EW issue, one of the “best new shows” this season is supposed to be the FOX comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Our local social media maven posted one of those flippant comments on Facebook, “Where have all the sitcoms gone?” to which a guy noted that he was watching one at that moment, Brooklyn Nine-Nine. She wrote back, “Isn’t that a drama, and an hour?” Well, no, a simple Google search would reveal that was a new “ensemble comedy about what happens when a talented, but carefree, detective [Andy Samberg] and his diverse group of colleagues get a new captain [Andre Braugher of Homicide: Life on the Street] with a lot to prove.” I thought his information (which I augmented) required an acknowledgment at least to him, but I guess that’s just my projection.
Oh, and I can tell you that many of the sitcoms are now on the Disney Channel. I’ve seen several, none of which are particularly good.
Lots of folks are upset that the Emmys had an individual tribute for, as one person put it, “that filthy drug addict Cory Monteith” by “that no talent Jane Lynch” (I actually read that, naturally on Facebook) while not doing so for Jack Klugman, who was one of my favorite actors, or for Larry Hagman. I thought Mark Evanier addressed this rather well, which is that these things are never “fair.”